Families of travelers who have a few hairy members tend to have more complications than the rest of us when it comes to planning our holidays.
What do we do with them? Where can we go? What documentation and requirements must be fulfilled? These are just some of the questions that torment us when choosing our destination.
We bring you a complete guide based on our experience, an experience of a family of two humans and five dogs that have traveled through Europe from end to end and have even lived together in some of the most restrictive countries.
Throughout this entry we will try to answer all aspects to be taken into account before starting our journey so that we can have an unforgettable experience with our most loyal friends.
The first trip outside our borders that we made with dogs was to Germany, for two months we had to move to Munich to do a German course and of course, we could not leave them behind.
Documentation required for European Union countries
Moving around the countries of the continental European Union is much simpler than we might think at first, the requirements detailed below are not very different from those asked of us within Spain itself.
- Microchip or tattoo, the tattoo is only valid for animals that were identified before July 3, 2011.
- The animal must be over 3 months old, this is because many of the vaccines cannot be given in the first months of life. If you have a puppy with less age better think about a national destination.
- Have the animal’s European passport updated. It’s the typical blue passport with the stars. Many communities issue their own passport (very common when you buy a dog from a breeder) this type of passport is useless, I don’t even think it is valid between different autonomous communities. The best thing you can do in this case is to go to your vet and get an official one stamped and signed.
- Rabies vaccination up to date. Here are two key points to keep in mind; if it is the first time the animal is vaccinated, the validity will be 21 days after the date on which it was vaccinated. If for any reason the dog has its rabies vaccinations but this year it was forgotten and a few months have passed then you will have to wait 21 days from the new vaccination date. This is very important.
- Maximum number of pets. For many people this is not a problem since in the most extreme case they usually don’t have more than three dogs, but in our case with five, we are at the limit. The European Union allows free travel with pets up to a maximum of 5 animals. If you have 6 you have to ask for a special permit as it can be considered as animal trade.
- Dangerous races. There are countries where the so-called dangerous races are forbidden to enter. These races are usually the stigmatized Pitbull, American Stafford, Rottweiler and Dobermann. I imagine that if you have one of these breeds you have already been forced to take out special insurance and must comply with a series of legal requirements.
As we move around continental Europe, you know that there are no borders so no one will stop you anywhere, but you run the risk that in a street or a park a couple of guards will approach you and ask for your documents. There you can get into trouble and they can even take the animal away from you and in the worst case, put it down. I know it’s hard but you must know what you’re exposing yourself to. In the end I think it will all depend on the attitude of the animal itself and the police.